The Alchemist Cookbook (Photo: Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Buzzard, Joel Potrykus’ idiosyncratic and darkly funny portrait of an increasingly paranoid and psychotic Midwestern slacker, established the director as a talent to watch. And in keeping with the underground ethos on display in all of Potrykus’ films, his follow-up, The Alchemist Cookbook, is being released as a “pay what you want” download through BitTorrent Now.

This isn’t unusual for a micro-budget indie, but the kicker here is that The Alchemist Cookbook isn’t self-distributed. In fact, the whole thing is being handled by Oscilloscope, the respected indie distributor co-founded by late Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys fame. While same-day releases to VOD or digital platforms like iTunes have become popular among the indie and arthouse distributors, the choice of delivery and pricing model represents a step in a different direction.


Potrykus has written about the plan in a post for Bundle.Media that addresses his own feelings about what he feels is an increasing corporate monopoly over streaming and digital distribution. The Alchemist Cookbook will be available for download starting October 7, ahead of a limited theatrical release. The typically bizarre trailer for the film—described as as a comedy about a young man (Ty Hickson) who attempts to summon a demon while living in a backwoods trailer—is below.